Housing selection nears completion

Housing selection draws to a close, and the wait list is set to grow.

Sarah Seman and Sarah Seman

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Corrected Thursday, April 26: As of 3 p.m., housing selection is completely finalized. The paragraphs in bold have been corrected to reflect correct information regarding the amount of students on the wait list. The wait list currently contains 10 students, and there are a total of 108 beds available.

Additionally, the print edition has a graphic which incorrectly reflects the amount of open beds and waitlisted students. The Chimes regrets this error.  

Housing selection is nearly finalized for fall 2012 with only one day remaining in the room selection lotteries.

There are 1,591 continuing students already placed, according to housing manager Heidi Herchelroath, and 108 beds are available for continuing students which, sometime in the next week, will be given to students who signed up on the waitlist because they did not have roommates.

Any remaining rooms will open to late applicants and commuters on May 1, according to the Residence Life and Housing events calendar.

“It has gone a lot smoother than last year,”  Herchelroath said. “Last year we were introducing a whole new concept in housing in terms of it being online.”

2011 was the first year that Biola Housing moved the application and housing selection process from physical paper and lines to an online system. A glitch allowed 17 students to choose rooms before their scheduled time, according to a PowerPoint presented at an informational meeting by Biola Housing.

Herchelroath attributes this year’s smoother outcome to both the additional 100 beds from the purchase of the La Mirada Apartments and students’ fuller comprehension of the system.

Still some dissatisfaction among students

Despite these improvements, some continuing students still were not able to get desired housing.

“We wanted to live, ideally, in Li in one of those four-person apartments,” said sophomore Madeline Burch, an elementary education major. When her group logged on at their earliest time, 12:30 p.m., all the apartments in the Block and the Bluff were already gone. 

Based on numbers from the housing department, 1,819 continuing students applied for housing. As of April 25, only 1,591 were registered for housing on campus. The remaining 228 applicants elected not to choose on-campus housing, but still have the option to sign up on the waiting list for one of the open spots.

Currently, there are 108 beds open, all located in residence halls. As of Thursday afternoon, there were 10 people on the waitlist, who had chosen to be placed on the list because they did not have roommates. Herchelroath is expecting the 10 students to be placed by the end of next week. 

The first priority group on the wait list is anyone who went through housing selection, the second priority group consists of any late applicants or commuters, according to Herchelroath.

For those who have not gone through housing selection, other factors come into play, like their age and their proximity to the school.

“If they’re an international student we do float them to the top of the waiting list because they do not have social security numbers and cannot rent off-campus,” Herchelroath said.

She stated that only 11 international students had yet to receive on-campus as of Wednesday.

Last year's issues mostly resolved

Last year 127 students signed up on the wait list and all of them were either offered a room or pulled their name off the list by August, according to the PowerPoint created by Housing for use at the meeting.

Students last semester were disgruntled to find rooms were empty in some of the dorms. This was caused by an unexpected number of enrolled students choosing not to attend Biola, Herchelroath stated in an interview last year.

To help appease this problem, “anybody who [doesn’t] pay their spring charges in full by June 30 will be removed from their housing assignment and it will be offered to someone on the waiting list,” Herchelroath said.

This year, students required to live on campus — totaling 686 — were able to choose their rooms in the residence halls before the 869 juniors, seniors and students more than twenty who had the option to move off campus.

Survey reflects clearer understanding of process

In a survey distributed by Biola Housing, students reported understanding the housing selection process more clearly this year, despite the fact that the selection process has not actually changed. 

While Biola Housing could not disclose the survey due to the students’ personal information being included, the results will be used to help the President’s Administrative Council come to a decision about looking into additional housing on campus.

“I know they are trying to meet soon to decide whether or not to flag another building to be built, and when that would happen, that would be sustainable and not bump into other initiatives we have, like [preventing] increased tuition,” Herchelroath said. 

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Housing selection nears completion